08:54am Friday 21 February 2020

Smoking Damages Teeth and Oral Cavity

Tobacco smoke contains numerous toxins which are detrimental for the gums and teeth. Smoking cessation therefore protects from cancer of the oral cavity and loss of teeth. The German Dental Association (BZÄK) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have jointly produced a flyer that points out the dangers of smoking for the oral cavity and teeth as well as the benefits of smoking cessation.

“The oral cavity is affected in several ways by the negative effects of smoking,” says Dr. Martina Pötschke-Langer, head of DKFZ’s Division of Cancer Prevention. “Thus, smokers are up to six times more at risk of getting cancer of the oral cavity than non-smokers.”

“They are far more frequently affected by inflammatory conditions of the periodontal apparatus, or periodontal diseases,” explains Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, vice president of the German Dental Association. “Smokers also have about twice the risk of loss of teeth compared to non-smokers. Halitosis, discoloration of the teeth, lips and tongue, caries, oral mucosal changes, poor wound healing or loss of implants are further typical problems affecting smokers,” says Oesterreich.

The new patient flyer “Rauchen und Mundgesundheit“ (Smoking and oral health) contains a clear and easily comprehensible presentation of the dangers of smoking for dental and oral health and illustrates disease conditions and connections using diagrams. “This provides patients with all the facts they need to take a decision,” says Oesterreich. “The dentist will be pleased to assist patients in tobacco cessation. With the right assistance, smoking cessation is not all that difficult.”

The patient flyer (in German) is available online on the websites of BZÄK and DKFZ:
www.bzaek.de/fileadmin/PDFs/presse/rauchen_mundgesundheit_faltblatt.pdf or

More information
For dentists, BZÄK and DKFZ additionally offer a comprehensive brochure (in German) entitled “Rauchen und Mundgesundheit“ (Smoking and oral health). Please order by telephone at 030-40005122 or download from www.bzaek.de/fileadmin/PDFs/presse/band13dkfz.pdf

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), employing over 2,500 staff members, is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. More than 1,000 scientists are working to investigate the mechanisms of cancer development, identify cancer risk factors and develop new strategies for better cancer prevention, more precise diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer patients. In addition, the staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) provides information about this widespread disease for patients, their families, and the general public. DKFZ is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (90%) and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (10%) and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers.

Download Press release (PDF)

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